February 13th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
7 years ago

Carville: Do or die for Clinton in Texas and Ohio

James Carville is supporting Hillary Clinton's White House bid.
James Carville is supporting Hillary Clinton's White House bid.

(CNN) - He hinted at a similar sentiment earlier this week on CNN, but James Carville – a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s White House run - was decidedly more blunt Wednesday on the impact a loss in Texas or Ohio would have on her presidential bid.

"Make no mistake," Bill Clinton's former chief strategist told the Orlando Sentinel. "If she loses either Texas or Ohio, this thing is done."

The Clinton campaign has increasingly placed importance on those two March 4 primaries following eight straight losses for the New York Democrat since Super Tuesday. On Tuesday night, she was swept in the so called Potomac primary, losing to Obama in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

In a conference call with reporters earlier Wednesday, Clinton campaign aides noted 60 percent of the remaining delegates are in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania - all states where polls show the New York senator is leading Obama. But delegates in those states will not be awarded on a winner-take-all basis, and Clinton staffers said Wednesday that their expectation was that the two candidates would be within 25 delegates of each other following the March 4 contests.

Obama campaign aides said Wednesday they believe it is nearly impossible for Clinton to catch up to Obama in the delegate count under the current guidelines, even if she wins all three contests.

Speaking on CNN's The Situation Room earlier this week, Carville struck a similar note.

"The truth is that Sen. Clinton has to win Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania," he said. "If she wins those three, she's probably the nominee. If she loses one of those three, then Sen. Obama is probably going to be the nominee. That's a fact."

"We have a lot of debates left to go," Carville continued. "This has been a very close contest. Democrats want to hear from both of them. I've seen the Clintons counted out before. I would be very reluctant to count the Clintons out."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (516 Responses)
  1. Independant

    James Carville , is to Hillary , Like Farrakan is to Obama . ? Who can stand either one James or Obama . Can you see either one of them , trying to get there point across , shouting with Putin . They act just like Castrol, an Charvez , an that great Iranian Leader , he say's he will sit down an talk with. No I would rather cast my vote for Flip Flop that was running 4 years ago .

    February 13, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  2. Karyn - Minnesota

    When it comes to foreign policy, Obama's all green behind the ears, he needs a few years of seasoning first. I don't think Pres. Ahminedjidad (exc. the sp.) of Iran will care much for his "HOPE" message. This is where both of the Clintons come in and show their expertise in these matters. Let them handle the big stuff while Barack waits his turn.

    February 13, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  3. Carolyn in St. Louis

    Forget all the two-stepping around Senator Obama – he's playing in the big game now – all's fair – go for the kill Hillary! Ps – time to count New Mexico don't you think....and if Sen. Obama thinks he's getting the "popular" vote, he's just getting the votes of a lot of wimpy little men that can't stand the thought of a WOMAN leading the free world – get over it!!! Go Senator Clinton – the women are behind you – hit'um and hit'um hard!! He's playing the race card – why not everyone else!!

    February 13, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  4. Jim

    I'm a staunch conservative who is pro-life who will be voting, for the first time, for a Democrat for President – Senator Obama. Healthcare reform, single payer, healthcare for all, replacing the leadership within CMS (Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Reform) with the Department of Health is paramount.

    February 13, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  5. Dominique

    Hillary is the best candidate and she will be the last standing! She has done it beofre and WILL do it again! I have faith in her experience!

    February 13, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  6. smith John

    He went to Harvard on his own,with his brain and skills.Hillary is a hand me down.I am an African American and she said stuff about Martin Luther after everything he did.Secondly her husband called Obama a fairy tale.He will win.I am tired of Skulls and Bones members dictating what happens.Plus she is a flip flopper.She said and i quote"i supported the bankrupcy law but thank God it was declined.

    February 13, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  7. William

    CNN is panting for Obama to win. When he sells this country off in unconditional support of Africa what will CNN do then? Start speaking Swahele?

    February 13, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  8. Glen

    The new Clinton strategy to me looks so similiar to a familiar strategy on the Republican side- Rudy Guiliani... She's banking on believing that the previous few primaries mean nothing to the voters of Ohio and Texas. And we all know what happened to Rudy's campaign... History does repeat itself...

    February 13, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  9. Lets Get 4 Real

    If Hillary loses, I am voting for experience and that will have to be Mc Cain because BO has yet to show me anything that would even make me want to vote for him. Nothing against BO but he honestly is not the one to lead this country even in good times.

    The only thing that the nomination will show is the strong division among the democrats. (hmmm sounds like a Rove plan to me)

    February 13, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  10. Peggie

    David Wilhelm, the man who was employed by Bill Clinton's former manager, David Wilhelm, did indeed endorse Barack Obama today. He was not hired to managed Hillary Clinton's campaign.

    Several days ago he was hired by Obama's campaign to ...oh, yes, advise...

    He's counting on a job clear through to the national election....hmmm...

    At a nice salary to boot...

    February 13, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  11. A.Johannes

    ELECTING McCAIN or CLINTON is like going back in time. Same old politics. It better BUSH stays. WE need to exhale and take in some FRESH AIR in into our dying country. Dollar falling, people losing their homes, no health insurance, expensive meds. ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE.

    February 13, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  12. Cathy

    Hillary all the way...when I listen to Obama I feel like it is a sermon in church....
    Go HIllary Go.

    February 13, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  13. whyputaname

    These are the questions that I think that Obama should answer:

    – Documents regarding your time in the Illinois Senate. (Obama refused and now says the documents were lost)
    – The documents concerning your house purchase and the purchase of the lot next door and the subsequent purchase of part of that lot by you.
    – A document showing how you handled the "gift" from Rezcko on your house purchase. (If it was not on your tax return during the year you purchased your house then you have violated federal law?
    – A list of the people who have bundled your contributions, including any money from overseas sources.
    – A transcript of the conversations that you had as a sitting U.S. Senator with Railla Odinga while he was running for the presidency of foreign government( Kenya).
    – An explanation of your wherabouts during the period Nov 3 through Nov 8, 1999, while a State Senator from Illinois.
    Senator Obama's main contributor from the beginning of his career has been Rezko. Rezko also has close ties with Auchi…who has been found guilty by of deals relating to nuclear plants in Iraq. That makes Obama three times removed from that situation. Auchi is the reason Rezko is in jail now…due to flight risk.
    Obama got his money from misuse of taxpayers funds. Rezko said he couldnt pay for the heat in the buildings in Chicago. People going without heat in a Chicago winter? Chicago gets cold. During that time…Rezko gives a thousand dollars to Obama for his political career. I find it hard to believe that Obama didnt know about these conditions in his district…when the City Of Chicago was taking Rezko to court for this. Obama wrote a letter of recommendation for Rezko to get funding for his housing. Those letters are available to see at a website …taylor marsh. They have government heading on them. You cant tell me that Obama didnt know that Rezko was under federal investigation when he go a deal with him to buy his house. Check it out. Senator Obama hasnt been that honest about all of this.

    February 13, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  14. Kevin Zelko

    I don't know if you have seen the polls for Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas, but Obama is leading all of the polls. Those people must be up with the modern news that Obama has the momentum. I can see Texas falling a little closer, but why would Ohio and Pennsylvania switch so rapidly?

    Obama has it going on.

    February 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  15. Eric, Californian

    This Independent is voting for McCain if Hillary doesn't get the nomination! Obama is fake! His sheep/ supporters will come to learn this when it's too late!

    February 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  16. John

    I agree. I am a Hillary supporter, and will be to the end. It is great that people have had a say in who their democratic nominee will be past super tuesday. If Hillary wins these three, then she has won all the big states. It is not fair, and very unwise to discount the voice of Michigan and Florida, as we have seen what happens when votes aren't counted for technical reasons.

    Hillary, YOU NEED TO RUN THE VIDEO POSTING OF EVERYDAY PEOPLE YOU HAVE HELPED! Hillary needs to arrange more debates to show her experience, and she needs to relate to the voters in a more intimate way, as she does in smaller gatherings. Her weakness is large venues, as this is definately Barack's venue.

    He is all talk, no substance, he wants to change the game, but sadly, the pieces are all the same, and you can't create a new game with the old pieces. Let's get Hillary in first to turn around the Bush mess, and then get Barack in to follow up! It's a win win, people.

    -JW

    February 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  17. almostNov.

    I am pulling for Hillary. She is making a very strong case for her platform in Texas. My in-laws live in Ohio and are hard core Repub. they are even pulling for her.
    If people voted based on the platform, issues and future direction of our country instead of personal feelings then things might be different for both Obama and Hillary.
    I am starting to think this election is going to put the Dem Party at odds. I am sure the Repub are loving this.

    February 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  18. Michel laterreur

    Obama argues to change the rules on the supergelegates but also argues not to changes the rules for Florida and Michagan because the rules were set before the process began. Point is ....The rules on the superdelagates were also set before the process/.

    February 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  19. Becky

    Hillary Clinton knows what she is talking about. She conveys knowledge, action, and specifics about how she is going to make change happen. She has a proven track record of success. Barack Obama talks in hopes and dreams, which is indeed uplifting, but will not create change, nor does he have a track record of creating change. He is weak, all rhetoric, which is what we have had for the last 7 years. Enough already. Let's vote someone in who has proven herself to work hard to get something done.

    February 13, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  20. George B from Westerville

    The good news as we all know is that George Bush will no longer be president this coming January. Any of the three viable candidates we have will be a big improvement. All three fail miserably on the illegal immigration issue. McCain would have us continue Bush's folly in Iraq, perpetrating the loss of precious life and draining our treasury. He cannot be allowed to win. Obama gives pretty speeches, I'll support him if he wins the Democratic nomination, but I think Hillary Clinton would do the best job all factors considered. She is taking on a "rock star" kind of guy and still holding her own, she's not going down without a fight. Of course, all the Hillary haters seem to need to focus their attention on swift boating her because if they were in her place they'd all do SUCH a better job.

    February 13, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  21. John

    Hillary is a joke.

    February 13, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. NH resident

    Ok Let's break this down for some of you....The Clintons, plural, as when Bill Clinton was running for President, he was counted out several times....and became"the comeback Kid" won the nomination and served 2 terms. Now here is where the plural comes in....Hillary Clinton, lost Iowa and polls showed Obama ahead in New Hampshire. Hillary won New Hampshire! See, plural...2 people, 2 seperate times counted out....2 seperate times they won! No hidden message here people, just a command of the English language.

    Go Hillary 08

    February 13, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  23. Gmoney

    "Obama same old politics…and quite frankly a bit childish. Obama could have taken the high road instead of acting like a spoiled child. Obama has repeatedly shown that he is not ready to be president..."

    What would you have him do, cry two days before an important election like Hillary did–twice?

    If every one of HRC's supporters who say "He's all speech and preach" would stop talking for two seconds and actually listen, or even go to his site, they'd realize they need a better argument.

    February 13, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  24. derry

    It is odd now that Hillary is at a loss, CNN puts on roger clemons. Don't they have enough material on Obama to keep things interesting?
    Hillary '08

    February 13, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  25. Joe

    Obama will be asked about his drug use when he face Republic.
    Obama is afraid of debate.

    February 13, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
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